ATHENS, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Officials have released police body camera footage of the deadly shooting of a 23-year-old man in Athens.
At a press conference on Tuesday, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department shared the video from the officers who responded to the scene on the 1000 block of Macon Highway Monday afternoon.
According to police, three officers responded to the River Club Apartments after multiple people called 911 to report a man covered in blood, holding a butcher's knife, and acting erratically. Investigators identified that man as Aaron Hong, 23, of Athens.
The video shows two officers gave Hong commands to drop the knife, at one point telling him "don't do this." Hong refused and continued to move toward the officer. That's when the officer opened fire, hitting Hong.
Hong managed to get back up and charged at the officer a second time. He also attempted to grab the officer's gun. A second officer then fired hitting Hong multiple times.
Paramedics attempted to treat Hong at the scene, but he succumbed to his injuries.
Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Cleveland Spruill said he would like everyone in the community to pray for both Hong and the officers involved.
"I think it's certainly appropriate to offer my condolences to the family members and friends of Aaron Hong. Certainly, this must be a difficult time for them and I want to ask everyone to please keep that family in your thoughts and prayers," Spruill said. "Likewise, I'd like to acknowledge my officers who were involved in yesterday's incident. This is a very difficult and emotional time for those officers as well, having been forced to take the life of another human being."
Officials said that one officer sustained minor injuries that were treated at the scene.
The officers involved, identified as Senior Police Officer David Harrison and Officer Charles Bidinger, have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
Spruill said that while the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Clark County District Attorney still have to review the case, he believes the officers' actions were justified.
"The body worn camera video evidence that I have seen and that I have shared with you today suggest that the officers reasonably feared for their lives and their safety and used deadly force to defend themselves," Chief Spruill explained.